Make every day Kick Butts Day

American Press

It’s never too late to quit.

That’s the message today — National Kick Butts Day — encouraging adult smokers to quit smoking while preventing a new generation from picking up the habit.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each day in the United States, more than 3,000 people 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and an additional 700 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers.

The CDC said cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the country and 41,000 deaths are attributed to secondhand smoke exposure.

The statistics in Louisiana aren’t good, either.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said smoking accounts for 6,500 deaths in our state every year contributing significantly to our state’s challenging health status, which costs taxpayers $1.89 billion dollars annually in actual health care expenditures and $2.49 billion in lost productivity.

Mike Rogers, chief executive officer of the Smoking Cessation Trust, warns that children are three times more likely to smoke if a parent or guardian smokes.

“While the trust’s primary target audience is Louisiana citizens who smoked their first cigarette before Sept. 1, 1988, we are also committed to keeping the next generation from becoming addicted to nicotine,” Rogers said in a statement to the American Press. “And to that end, we encourage Louisiana legislators to follow the lead of a growing list of states who are raising the age to buy tobacco products to 21. Regardless of age, we are committed to saving everyone from the dangers of smoking.”

Rogers said the trust encourages all young people to never start smoking and asks they share the “kick butts” message with their parents, grandparents and other older adults in their lives.

“National data show that about 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21,” he said. “The ages of 18 to 21 are also a critical period when many smokers move from experimental smoking to regular, daily use. While less than half of adult smokers become daily smokers before age 18, four out of five do so before they turn 21.”

Let’s make every day Kick Butts Day, and help win the fight against tobacco use.””Cigarette Kick Butts Day graphic

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